An Ideas and Innovations List

As the course progresses, we compile a list of some of the major scientific ideas and innovations that have shaped evolution of life on Earth.  The list is not exhaustive and is not chronological.  It is suggested that you make your own list.

An Ideas and Innovations List - there are many others that qualify as major ideas or innovations


2.3D Euclidean Space
Time, concept and measurement
Matter  is typically made of molecules, bound together by electromagnetic (EM) forces
Molecules are made of atoms, bound together by EM forces
Atoms contain neutrons and protons in the nucleus and and orbiting electrons: the protons and  neutrons are bound in the nucleus by nuclear forces and the electrons orbit the nucleus and is held in orbit by the EM forces attracting it to the protons in the nucleus.  The atom is charge-neutral.
Temperature is a measure of the vibrational energy of the atoms and molecules in the material
Chemical interactions transform molecules but retain elements intact
Space is mostly empty
9.Human senses occupy a very small portion of measurable space-time
10.Energy is the capacity to do work and matter is energy in another localized form
11.Matter experiences four types of forces
12.The EM force is carried by photons
13.The strong nuclear force is by far the strongest force and hold the nucleus in place
14.The EM force operates between all charged particles (i.e. Electrons and protons)
15.The EM force is proportional to product of charges and inverse square of distance between them
16.Photons travel at the speed of light because light is simply photons of a particular range of frequencies
17.Matter+Energy is conserved
18.The Sun provides energy to Earth as a stream of photons
19.The force of gravity is attractive and operates between any two masses, is proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the distance between them
20.Our Universe started as a Big Bang, 15 billion years ago and has, on average,  been cooling down ever since – our Universe is expanding
21.Background radiation exists from the Big Bang, exactly as predicted
22.As it cools, the Universe is on average becoming more disordered (less ordered, where entropy is a measure of order)
23.Locally, order increases by self-organization, to make stars, planets, all matter, you, me, everything that we observe, etc.
24.Stars exist in self-organized localized patterns, called galaxies
25.Galaxies are, on average, receding from each other
26.Earth formed by self-organization (accretization) about 5 billion years ago
27.A limited number of atoms can exist on Earth
28.The oceans formed a soup of complex molecules in which carbon-chains self-organized to form more and more complex forms under the priming of external photon energy from the Sun
29.Eventually, carbon-based complex chain molecules self-replicated
38.Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
39.Humans divided from apes about 6 to 10 million years ago
40.Modern humans came out of Africa about 400,000 years ago
41.Major migrations of humans occurred after the last Ice Age
42.Complex systems are chaotic and evolution is a chaotic process
43.Self-organization is an important component principle underlying the increasing complexity of life under evolution
44.Self-organization implies a local increase in order (decrease in entropy), driven by an external source of energy
45.Our atmosphere, seas and soil are a complex chaotic system in which life has evolved under the priming of energy from the Sun
46.DNA is a chemical code of digital instructions, organized as a sequence of genes, where each gene is the code for a unique sequence of amino acids which define long chains called proteins which are the chemical factories of life’s processes. DNA replicates.
57.Fire, cooking
58.Tools for cutting, grinding
59.Language, art, logic
60.Building shelters, pottery, paper, writing and reading
61.Domestication of plants and animals
62.Settlements, specialization, surpluses, trade, barter, money, exploration, travel, Cultures, religions, values, etc
63.Arithmetic, geometry for trade, construction, etc.
65.Memetic Evolution
66.A Global Brain
67.Earth is approximately  spherical
68.Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun
69.Earth is not the centre of the Universe but one of many planetary objects
70.The heavenly bodies change over with time
71.Laws of motion discovered for falling bodies
72.Telescope observe distant objects
73.Microscope magnify small objects
74.Life is cellular
75.The (Newtonian) Laws of Motion predict the dynamics of most systems of masses, given the initial conditions
77.Optics, color
78.Atomic and molecular structure of matter
79.Nuclear structure of atoms (protons, neutrons)
80.Fields explain force at a distance (electromagnetic, nuclear, gravitational)
81.Electromagnetic waves propagation equations predict behaviour of natural systems
82.Electromagnetic waves propagate light, radio, etc. and photns are the carrier at the speed of light
83.Elements are chemically indivisible entities and only about 100 can exist on Earth
85.Electron discovered by experiment
86.Photon confirmed as light carrier
87.Light speed constant for all observers regardless of their velocities
88.Time is relative
89.Matter and energy are equivalent – the elimination of one creates the other
90.Light travels by the shortest distance in 4D space-time
91.Mass distorts 4D space-time which creates the force of gravity
92.Gravity and the force of acceleration are indistinguishable – they are the same
93.The behaviour of everything in our Universe is inherently uncertain, according to quantum physics, implying that the future behaviour of physical systems cannot be exactly predicted from initial conditions
94.Electrons are not isolated particles but exist as a distribution of probabilities that collapse upon interaction to yield an unpredictable outcome
95.DNA has a helical structure and its replication is explained
96.Selfish genes
Selfish memes and memetic evolution
97.Altruistic genes
98.Genome maps are found for different animals and plants
100.Genetic modification
101.Black holes and Dark Matter
102.Sub atomic particles discovered
103.Early Universe explained
104.Iron, metallurgy, steel, guns
105.Bronze, spinning wheel, textiles, silk
106.Wheel, axles, spokes
107.Irrigation, clocks, plows, compass, printing press, windmills
108.Steam engine
109.Mass production, factories
EM waves can be time-varied to send messages through the air, leading to radio, television, cell phones
EM waves can be time-varied to propagate in metal wires, leading to telephone, cable telecommunicationsSolid
Solid materials can be formed into a semi-conducting switch that toggles from on to off or off to on at high speed with low energy, leading to the transistor and the multi-million transistor silicon chip
Switches can be used to perform logical functions, including arithmetic and other computations, leading to computers
Computers can be networked to each other and to humans in real-time, leading to the Global Brain and the Global Network and the Global Village ?
Interconnected human brains and computing machines form a new super-organism ? 
Life can leave Earth and survive elsewhere ?
Nano machines
Non-biological replicators and non-biological life ?